Festive season big driver of ad volume, viewership growth on TV: BARC

MUMBAI: While the ad volume on TV has been on a growth trajectory, the quantum of TV advertising and impressions witness a major spike during the festive season, according to a Broadcasters Research Council of India (BARC) India study ‘Advertising During Festivals’.

Pointing out the key trends, the study noted that ad volume on television has kept pace with the rapid viewership growth in the last three years. It further stated that advertising volume has grown consistently over the last 3 years and stands at 1.07 billion seconds for the January-August 2018 period which is an increase of 16% for the same period last year.

According to the study, the potential of the festive period is noticed by heavyweights of television categories like government-led social ads and CPG categories like toothpaste and toilet soaps consistently feature in the top 10 categories advertised across three years from 2015 to 2017.

Another key trend is that the kids’ viewership goes up on festivals on the back of schools being closed and kids spending time watching television.

While Hindi channels have lion’s share in HSM viewership, the contribution from regional channels is growing, a fact that is visible during the festive season as well.

TV in India remains the most penetrated medium at 66% of the total TV households. There is immense headroom for growth with 100 million households yet to own a television.

The average weekly viewership of ads in India is growing steadily each year as well. From 2016 to 2018, the advertising impressions has increased by 45% from 521 billion to 755 billion with 2018 yet to witness its festive season. For the January to August 2018 period, the average ad duration stands at 31 million per week.

The study noted that the peaks in advertising coincide with planned tentpole events – be it related to sports or national interest topics like budget and elections, or with the festive season.

According to BARC, the advertising volume during some of the important festivals celebrated through the years reveal that a few festival days always have more ads than the rest.

Festivals which are celebrated at home, with family gain more ad duration than the ones which are celebrated outside of the home, it added.

The festive season begins in September and extends all the way to December. The major festivals during this period include Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra, Durga Puja / Navratri / Dussehra besides Diwali and Christmas which have an added bonus of kids’ vacations in most parts of India.

During this season, the demand for goods and services see a huge spike as many Indians prefer buying new things at this time of the year. It also provides the brands with a perfect opportunity to woo consumers and increase their sales.

In the September to December period, the year on year growth is in double digits and stands at 13% and 15% for 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The growth rate of advertising volume in the festive period is more than double for the earlier part of the calendar year. The ad volume growth is 15% in the festive period as compared to 6% in the pre-festive period.

While there is overall growth in advertising during the festive season, the growth differs across regions.

Bangla channels in the 2017 festive season have grown at 3 times the pace of growth in the previous year. Leading national broadcasters have upped their investments in the south zone where content is driven by language. Also, factors like near total electrification leading to very high television penetration accompanied by quality content and strong platforms have contributed to growing viewers in the southern states. This has led to accelerated growth in advertising volume in these states.

In addition to the quantum, there are more categories joining the advertising bandwagon in the festive season with 26 new categories being added from 2015 to 2017. Both advertisers and brands have also gone up by 18% from 2015 to 2017 in this period.

The top 10 categories maintain their contribution at 30% year-on-year over the last 3 years. Social Ads by Government, Online Shopping, Tooth Pastes, Toilet Soaps, and Film Trailers have consistently featured in the Top 10 categories across the 3 years.

Online shopping, auto, telecom, and chocolate sector continue to be the mainstays of the festival season. The contribution of categories like Internet Services, jewellery, paints has grown over the years. Jewellery has emerged as the close second category for the 2017 festive season, just below online shopping.

Online shopping portals now advertise all around the year and hence have reduced dependency on the festive season alone. Consumer durables maintain status quo with not much movement in advertising seconds across all years.

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